Finding the right primer is like finding the right pair of jeans: Tons of trial-and-error is involved, but when you find the right one, everything changes and you’re set for life. Another common thread between the two? We’re conditioned to think that the pricier options will work better, but sometimes it’s the affordable ones that surprise us. Enter: e.l.f. cosmetics, dubbed the makers of the number-one primers in America by Nielsen US, all priced under $12.
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Even better than the price tags is the fact that you don’t have to be a primer-devotee to get hooked on one of the brand’s formulas. Don’t like creams? There’s a light mist version. Think your skin is too oily for yet another layer of makeup? There’s a “Foundation Locking” formula ready to change the game forever. Hate makeup altogether? Try the Primer Sheet Mask ($6) that makes your skin look like you have the perfect amount on. The list goes on, and so do the rave reviews on each product.
“My skin looked tighter and just more pulled together,” says one 54-year-old reviewer of the aforementioned sheet mask; a five-star review for the brand’s Illuminating Face Primer ($6)—a summer-must—reads, “This primer gives your face a golden glow and works as well as more expensive alternatives.” Not convinced? Skip your next Starbucks run and pick one of these primers up the next time you’re at Target. Your skin will thank you.